The role of EdTech and strategic partnerships in solving the global learning crisis

The reports from UNESCO and Save the Children raise an alarm: we have a severe global literacy crisis. This crisis, exacerbated by insufficient educational funding, a lack of teachers, and even the lingering repercussions of the pandemic, underscores the urgent need for innovative approaches to combating this crisis. In this blog we will explore how education technology companies, governments and research institutions can collaborate more closely to ensure all children have access to quality literacy education.

According to UNESCO, approximately 250 million children around the world lack basic literacy skills. Additionally, data from Save the Children indicates that nearly 393 million children cannot read and understand a simple sentence by age 10, highlighting a global learning crisis exacerbated by insufficient educational funding and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic​ (Save the Children International)​.

These figures underscore the urgent need for comprehensive interventions to improve literacy rates among children worldwide. Enhanced collaboration between governments and education technology is crucial to addressing this quantity crisis and ensuring that all children have access to quality education.

Both quantity and quality are needed

Achieving quantity with quality in education can be realised through strategic approaches that scale effective programs while maintaining high standards. This involves leveraging technology to deliver personalised learning experiences, thus ensuring each student receives the support they need to thrive. For instance, adaptive learning platforms can assess individual student performance and provide tailored resources that address their specific needs, enhancing learning outcomes at scale. Technology allows us to reach millions with products and services designed and researched by the top experts in the world.

A concrete example of this is how the University of Cambridge described the Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) results that were achieved with the English version of GraphoGame:

“The app, GraphoGame, is as effective as one-to-one teacher support, but any number of children can play simultaneously.”

Scaling Through Partnerships

Furthermore, partnerships between EdTech companies, governments, and NGOs can facilitate the widespread distribution of high-quality educational materials and teacher training programs, ensuring that the expansion of educational access does not compromise the quality of instruction.

By combining innovative technology with robust support systems, it is possible to extend educational opportunities to millions while preserving the effectiveness and integrity of the learning experience​.

Innovative partnerships between education technology companies, research institutions, and ministries of education allow us to leverage the unique strengths of each partner while mitigating its downsides.

Companies are incentivised to create cost-effective, modern and efficient distribution models for their products and apps; research institutions study and publish papers on the products companies create while generating literacy on how technology can support students.

Finally, the public sector can leverage its authority and citizens’ trust to ease the rollout of educational apps and allow broad distribution with cost-effective awareness-building campaigns within the educational system.

By leveraging technology and forming strategic partnerships, we can create scalable, high-quality education solutions to bridge the literacy gap and empower young minds globally.

Author Jesper Ryynänen is COO at Graphogame